Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is located on Maine’s Atlantic coastline, boasting 158 miles of hiking trails and spectacular scenery. We have highlighted three of the best hikes in Acadia National Park to help whet your appetite
A Selection of the Best Acadia Hikes
Acadia National Park protects some of the most breath-taking American scenery along the mid-section of the Maine coast. With romantic views of mountains, valleys, and coves, as well as peaceful forestry and beaches, it is no wonder that this national park attracts 3.5 million visitors a year.
But with 158 miles of hiking trails to explore across Acadia National Park, it may feel impossible to know where to start your adventure in this outdoor haven. To save you any additional legwork, we’ve highlighted three of the best hikes in Acadia National Park and provide an insight into how to make the most of them.
1. Ocean Path
If you are in search of a scenic stroll along a mesmerising coastline, Ocean Path is the trail for you. It’s a four-mile-long (2 miles each way) path that begins at Sand Beach and ends at Otter Point, with plenty to see along the way.
This walk passes through the enchanting Thunder Hole, a breath-taking spot to stop and watch as the waves crash into the rocks, mimicking the sound of rolling thunder. Mostly along flat terrain, this trek is considered to be more accessible than some of the park’s other more testing trails.
While Thunder Hole can be beautiful, it’s important to be careful along this part of the walk, as larger crashing waves may bring seaweed onto the trail path and make it slippery.
Ocean Path is one of Acadia’s most popular tracks due to its picturesque beauty and gorgeous views over the horizon. This walk is suitable for all, with Thunder Hole located around the halfway mark, which can act as a good return point for those who are less confident with walking.
This trail can take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours to complete, depending on how much time you wish to spend at the many notable landmarks along the way.
However long you choose to take, this is an undeniably stunning way to spend a warm afternoon along the Maine Coast. We are sure you will agree why this trail is included in our list of the best hikes in Acadia National Park.
Read more about the Ocean Path Trail.
2. Jordan Cliffs Trail
For a more adventurous traveller, Jordan Cliffs Trail offers some of the most breathtaking views of Jordan Pond, a mountain pond with shorelines of 3.6 miles and depths of 150 feet.
The outbound sector of this trail measures approximately 1.6 miles, leading to the summit of Penobscot Mountain. However, if you are looking to do the loop hike you will be covering between 3.5 and 5 miles depending on which of the return routes you opt for.
Scaling the east face of Penobscot Mountain, the Jordan Cliffs Trail includes one of the steepest inclines in Acadia National Park.
Due to the difficulty of this hike, it’s recommended that adventurers who are ready to take on the challenge of Jordan Cliffs bring walking aides and do not attempt the climb if they are scared of heights or uneasy on their feet. While challenging, Jordan Cliffs is an incredibly rewarding hike, with stunning scenery along the way.
For those travelling with children or people who are less confident with heights and steep pathways, Jordan Pond may offer a far safer experience. This 3.3-mile trip takes between 1.5 and 2 hours and offers gorgeous views of the pond a little closer to sea level.
Both are popular trails in the park but do note that Jordan Cliffs is often closed between March 15th and August 15th due to Peregrine Falcon nesting.
Perhaps not a suitable trail for all, this still enters our list of the best hikes in Acadia National Park owing to its exhilarating route features and breathtaking scenery.
Read more about the Jordan Cliffs Trail.
3. Beehive Trail
For those looking for a serious challenge, the Beehive Trail is definitely recommended. While this route offers more of a clamber and a climb than a walk, the 1.4-mile loop is well-suited to a hearty adventurer.
The Beehive Trail is definitely not for the fainthearted. While considered a tamer version of the Precipice Trail, the Beehive is by no means your regular walk in the park. With metal rungs to help hikers scale the cliff, the Beehive Trail is not recommended for those travelling with young children.
While the terrain is rocky and the trail narrow in parts, the views of the incredible Sand Beach and Great Head make this 1-2 hour hike worth the effort. Hikers often comment that they feel as if they are standing on the edge of the world.
The Beehive Loop is on rocky terrain, but the risk is worth the reward when you climb above the treeline and the incredible view of the Maine Coast begins to appear. As hikers climb above 500ft above sea level, the panoramic views of Acadia National Park are something you will remember for a lifetime.
If you are a bit of a thrill-seeker, this is one you will not want to miss. Once experienced, you will surely see why we have added this trail to the list of the best hikes in Acadia National Park.
Read more about the Beehive Trail.
America’s national parks are world-renowned for their rugged beauty and endless opportunities for adventure. And when one of these parks shares its borders with the oceans, there are few more effortlessly stunning sights in the world, and visitors are blessed with an array of the most memorable views.
This is epitomised by Acadia National Park, where the beautiful Atlantic horizon will provide the backdrop for your picture-postcard walks. So what are you waiting for? Take on all that this beautiful park has to offer, and decide which are your favourites from our compilation of the best hikes in Acadia National Park.
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